Breakdown: Getting off to a fast start will be important if the Baltimore Ravens want to take back the AFC North title. The Ravens play all three AFC North teams in the first three weeks of the season, including the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers at home. After Week 9 (Nov. 2), the Ravens will know where they stand in the division because they will have played five of their six divisional games. The only AFC North game remaining after that is the Dec. 28 season finale against the Cleveland Browns at home. It marks the first time the Ravens have finished the regular season at home since 2010.
The Ravens are only scheduled to play three games in prime time this season, which could be viewed as a slap in the face. It’s the fewest nationally televised games for the Ravens since 2009. This could change because of flexible scheduling. But the Ravens had to expect this after failing to make the playoffs last season.
Complaint department: The brutal part of the Ravens schedule begins in October. The Ravens have a stretch in which they play on the road four times in five weeks. It begins Oct. 5 at Indianapolis, the Ravens’ toughest out-of-division game in the first half of the season. The Ravens then play at Tampa Bay and home against Atlanta before traveling to Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. This is what happens when there are three home games in the first month of the season. The Ravens can’t be too happy with their bye either. It comes in Week 11, which means only the Steelers and Carolina Panthers have a later bye. It’s the Ravens’ latest bye since 2001. That just compounds a long opening haul for the Ravens.
Potential easy finish: If the Ravens have to make up ground, the schedule sets up favorably in the final month of the season. The Ravens finish up home against Jacksonville, at Houston and home against Cleveland. Those three teams combined to go 10-38 (.208) last season. If all three struggle again, it’s not out of the question that the Ravens will see rookie quarterbacks in all three games. Getting the Browns in the final game is historically a luxury. Cleveland has lost its past four season finales, including the last two by a combined score of 44-17.
Strength of schedule: 28th, .461 | Vegas over/under : 8.5
Ravens Regular-Season Schedule (All times Eastern)
Week 1: Sunday, Sep. 7, Cincinnati, 1 p.m.
Week 2: Thursday, Sep. 11, Pittsburgh, 8:25 p.m.
Week 3: Sunday, Sep. 21, at Cleveland, 1 p.m.
Week 4: Sunday, Sep. 28, Carolina, 1 p.m.
Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 5, at Indianapolis, 1 p.m.
Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 12, at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.
Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 19, Atlanta, 1 p.m.
Week 8: Sunday, Oct. 26, at Cincinnati, 1 p.m.
Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 2, at Pittsburgh, 8:30 p.m.
Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 9, Tennessee, 1 p.m.
Week 11: BYE
Week 12: Monday, Nov. 24, at New Orleans, 8:30 p.m.
Week 13: Sunday, Nov. 30, San Diego, 1 p.m.
Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 7, at Miami, 1 p.m.
Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 14, Jacksonville, 1 p.m.
Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 21, at Houston, 1 p.m.
Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 28, Cleveland, 1 p.m.
MY take—if Campanaro isn’t a Wes Welker, Julian Edelman clone then one doesn’t exist.
From Aaron Wilson’s Column in the Sun
Auditioning for his hometown team today, Wake Forest wide receiver Michael Campanaro came away encouraged by his workout at the Ravens’ training complex.
The former River Hill standout was among the NFL draft prospects who participated in today’s local prospects day at team headquarters. Offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak and wide receivers coach Bobby Engram supervised the offensive drills.
“It went awesome,” Campanaro told The Baltimore Sun in a telephone interview. “We did a lot of bag drills to start off and then receiver stuff, footwork, catching the ball clean. We did the Ravens’ route tree. It was a great workout.
R”I was able to meet with coach Engram and coach Kubiak afterward. I think I did great. I didn’t drop any passes. It was fun interacting with those guys. Special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg’s daughter went to River Hill, so it was good talking with him.”
The Clarksville native ran the 40-yard dash in 4.46 seconds at the NFL scouting combine and had a 39-inch vertical leap, a 10-2 broad jump, a 6.77 three-cone drill and bench pressed 225 pounds 20 times. He met informally with the Ravens at the combine and also had a meeting with them at the Senior Bowl.
Campanaro caught a school-record 229 passes for the Demon Deacons and finished with 2,506 career yards and 14 touchdowns.
Represented by agent Drew Rosenhaus, Campanaro is hoping to be drafted as high as the third round.
Could the Ravens be a good fit for Campanaro?
“Definitely, I think it would be a potential landing spot for me,” Campanaro said. “I think the things they do in their offense I can definitely fit that mold. I got good vibes from the coaching staff. Coach Engram said he gives them his outlook on receivers and they get together as a staff to talk about everyone.
“I feel good about my meetings with him. We’ll just see on draft day. It was a great feeling working out for the Ravens. I’m just thankful for the opportunity to work out for the Baltimore Ravens’ coaching staff.”
The Ravens have agreed to terms on a one-year deal, pending a physical, with tight end Owen Daniels.
Daniels, 31, has spent his entire eight-year career with new Ravens Offensive Coordinator Gary Kubiak in Houston and the two will now reunite.
Daniels is a two-time Pro Bowler (2008 and 2012) and a refined pass catcher. He caught 70 passes for 862 yards and two touchdowns in 2008 and 62 passes for 716 yards and six scores in 2012.
He is adept at finding openings within coverage and making tough catches.
In Texans franchise history, Daniels ranks second in career receptions (385), receiving yards (4,617) and receiving touchdowns (29). He has seen action in more than 100 games with 96 starts.
Coach John Harbaugh was given a one-year contract extension by the Baltimore Ravens last month, owner Steve Bisciotti told ESPN.com on Monday.
Ravens ownership sent the right message of support by adding a year to coach John Harbaugh’s contract, writes Jamison Hensley. Story
Harbaugh signed a four-year contract last year after the Ravens won the Super Bowl. This extension means he is signed through the 2017 season.
Bisciotti indicated the extension represents a vote of confidence. He wanted Harbaugh to know his opinion of him as a leader hadn’t changed after last season, which was the first time Harbaugh hadn’t led the Ravens to the playoffs.
“I expect him to rebound from this disappointment with the same tenacity he attacks everything else,” Bisciotti said at the NFL owners’ meetings. “I just wanted him to know that disappointment is shared by all, and the only way I figured I could was to give him another year and start the clock over again.”
Harbaugh, 51, is 71-38 in six seasons with the Ravens. His .651 winning percentage ranks fourth among active coaches.
Wednesday, March 12
Ravens In Contact With Alex Mack (3:13 p.m.)
Baltimore is one of four teams that have been in contact with center Alex Mack, according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport. The Indianapolis Colts are another. Rapoport says there have been “varying levels” of interest and that teams are “waiting for the frenzy to die down.”
Daniels Visiting Packers (1:37 p.m.)
Tight end Owen Daniels is visiting the Green Bay Packers first, reports ESPN’s Adam Caplan. Daniels has been rumored as being of interest to the Ravens and Offensive Coordinator Gary Kubiak, who coached Daniels for eight years in Houston. He’s a proven pass-catching option.
Steve Smith Will Go Elsewhere (1:29 p.m.)
Wide receiver Steve Smith’s agent told The Baltimore Sun’s Aaron Wilson that his client will be “throwing on a jersey for another team to be named soon.” Wilson said the Ravens are expected to “closely monitor” the situation.
Jacoby Jones is dancing back to Baltimore.
The playmaking wide receiver and special teams returner has agreed in principle to a new four-year deal on the same day he was visiting the New York Giants.
Jones’ deal is for $14 million with $4.5 million guaranteed, according to ESPN’s Josina Anderson.
Keeping Jones maintains the Ravens’ big-play threat on offense, and a difference-maker as a returner.
With rumors swirling of the Ravens being possible suitors for other free agent wide receivers, keeping Jones marks the third offensive player Baltimore has re-signed already this offseason, following tight end Dennis Pitta and left tackle Eugene Monroe.
My Take—Another player in the right man, right price category. Jacoby is a playmaker and certainly helps to make the entire offense better. He was instrumental in many Ravens wins the past 2 years.
Still miss #81 but it’s time to let go.